About the Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development

Who are we?

Illicit drug crop cultivation, drug trafficking and drug use are global phenomena, but it is developing countries that are worst hit by the damaging consequences of the drug problem. The Global Partnership on Drug Policies and Development (GPDPD) adopts holistic approaches to address this challenge. The GPDPD is commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The Federal Government’s Drug Commissioner is the political patron of the project. The aim is to work with interested governments and international partner organisations to foster pro-development and health-oriented approaches in drug policy and to make this the new international norm. The holistic and innovative approaches adopted are based on scientific evidence. All approaches revolve around the wellbeing of the individual and respect for human rights. By combining rural development strategies with public health protection measures, sustainable solutions for addressing the global drug problem are identified.

The GPDPD activities target several levels

The project works to mainstream development and health policy standpoints on drug policy at global level, and to establish them as the norm worldwide. In international dialogue forums, the GPDPD advances these positions on behalf of BMZ. The framework for these activities is provided by the 2016 Outcome Document of the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016) as well as the annual resolutions of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).


The GPDPD also advises interested governments on how to modify their national drug strategies. Along with implementation partners, drug policy approaches are elaborated, critically appraised, and translated into practice. The project is supporting advisory measures and pilot projects on Alternative Development and public health promotion in a number of countries.


Finally, the GPDPD is advancing scientific research and innovation in global drug policy. Sound knowledge and evidence are needed to ensure that drug policy is based on proven findings. This is the only way to guarantee that drug policy strategies are drawn up objectively and free of ideological convictions.


The GPDPD is under political patronage of the Federal Government’s Drug Commissioner, Daniela Ludwig MP. She coordinates the German Government’s policy on narcotic drugs and addiction. In her capacity as political patron, she coordinates the work of GPDPD with the international commitments of BMZ and the German Government. Inside and outside Germany, she is committed to a holistic drug policy, geared more to health and development policy guidelines, and that focuses on the individual.


Germany’s drug policy builds on four complementary pillars: prevention of drug use, counselling and treatment of drug users, harm reduction and prosecution.


To produce a sustainable strategy for addressing the global drug problem within the consensus-based UN framework, there must be intensive cooperation between governments and organisations. For this reason, the GPDPD works closely with a whole series of partners. It cooperates with governments whose drug policies pursue a similar agenda to that of the German Government. Such pre-consultation and coordination can ensure that joint positions are represented more effectively in international dialogue forums. International cooperation also makes it significantly easier to carry out pilot projects. To date, for instance, the GPDPD has cooperated with the governments of Colombia, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Kingdom in various forms and contexts to shape international drug policy dialogue.


The GPDPD cooperates with a consortium of four partners, both in advising interested governments and in the implementation of pilot projects:

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)
Mae Fah Luang-Stiftung (Mae Fah Luang Foundation, MFLF)
Transnational Institute (TNI)

Together, the consortium has extensive experience in drawing up, evaluating and applying drug policy instruments, pursuing the goal of Alternative Development, promoting public health, and upholding human rights. At bilateral level too, the GPDPD liaises closely with the four implementation partners.


Furthermore, the GPDPD networks with foundations, research facilities and other institutions. It regularly collaborates with the following partners on a number of different topics and events: the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC), the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the Dutch Non-governmental organisation MAINline, the Open Society Foundations (OSF), the University of Essex and the Fundación Ideas para la Paz (FIP) in Colombia.



If you are interested in finding out more, or if you have any questions, please contact us at: gpdpd@giz.de